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Friday, April 10, 2015

Spotlight on Young Adult Author, Eric Price

Today we are spending a little extra time getting to know Lightning Quick Reads author, Eric Price.

First let’s take a gander at Eric’s bio:

Eric Price lives with his wife and two sons in northwest Iowa. He began publishing in 2008 when he started writing a quarterly column for a local newspaper. Later that same year he published his first work of fiction, a spooky children’s story called Ghost Bed and Ghoul Breakfast. Since then, he has written stories for children, young adults, and adults. Three of his science fiction stories have won honorable mention from the CrossTime Annual Science Fiction Contest. His first YA fantasy novel, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Literary Classics Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Squire and the Slave Master, scheduled for an August 4, 2015 release, continues the Saga of the Wizards. He is a member of SCBWI. Find him online at authorericprice.com.


LQR: Tell our readers a little about you.

Eric: I lead a fairly mundane life, which is exactly how I want it. I work on my wife’s family farm and write. That, as well as my children’s sports and other activities, keeps me busy… sometimes busier than I’d like. We spend most of our free time and money traveling. I think kids learn more from first hand experiences than they ever will in a classroom.

LQR: If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining/inciting?

Eric: The moment I go back to the most is when I found a secondhand copy of Stephen King’s The Shining. I didn’t like to read as a child. I found this book when I was in seventh grade, and it changed everything for me. It’s the first book I read entirely for my own pleasure. It spurred me to get into other authors like Poe and Irving, and before long I started to think I could probably create a story too.

LQR: Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme? If so, what is it?

Eric: I don’t really set out to write about any certain themes, yet most of my ideas, at least to some extent, seem to focus on fighting against corruption. I think I have a rather cynical world view, especially about those in positions of power. From business management, school boards, city councils, and everything up to world leaders, I have a hard time trusting individuals to make decisions based on the greater good and not putting their own self-interest above all else.

LQR: Tell us what you’re currently working on currently.

Eric: I’m in the editing process of The Squire and the Slave Master. It’s book two of the Saga of the Wizards, which started with Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud (and assuming my publisher accepts it, concludes with A Wizard Reborn). My working titles for these books were Yara’s Sequel and Owen’s Sequel respectively. After Unveiling, Yara and Owen follow different paths, so a large portion of the two sequels overlap. It’s been challenging to write, but I like experimenting with different styles. Oh, I guess I should say a little about what actually happens in the book. Here’s a blurb:

After the adventure to save King Kendrick, for Yara, everyday life has grown monotonous. The dull work of learning her father’s blacksmithing trade, and the pressure from her parents to decide what she plans on doing with her life, has her nerves so stressed she snaps at her father’s slightest teasing.

Lucky for her, a surprise messenger from the castle brings the king’s request for her to join a collaborative mission between the Central and Western Domains of Wittatun to stop a recently discovered slave operation in a land to the west. King Kendrick and Owen want her to accompany the mission as a secret weapon disguised as a squire.
She has to keep secret not only her magical abilities from any possible traitors, but also her gender. The people of the Western Domain have a superstition prohibiting girls from sailing. But a chill wind carries the distinct odor of sabotage. Can one girl survive to destroy an evil rooted much deeper than mere slavery?

The Squire and the Slave Master is scheduled for an August 4, 2015 release as an eBook.

LQR: What is one of your favorite authorial moments from your career so far?

Eric: I’ve had some great classroom visits the past month. I’ve been working with an American Literature class in France. I did Skype interviews with them in two sessions, and they are working on a project for me. After reading the first two chapters of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, they had an assignment to write what they thought would come next. If I can figure out how, I’m going to post them on my website and let people vote for their favorite. I’ll send the winners a copy of the book.

On the same day as the second interview, I also spoke in person to a middle school literature class in my hometown. They read my book as a class assignment (it was slightly above their reading level, so they took it slow and had a lot of classroom discussion). They all enjoyed it a lot, and for some of them it was their first experience with fantasy. Seeing the excitement in their faces in talking to me about the book was a great experience. They even did some book related artwork. I’m planning a blog post about both interviews.

LQR: Share with us a five year and ten year goal for your writing career.

Eric: I hope to have a book out every year or every other year. I’ve finished the first book of what I hope to be a three book middle grade series, and I have several standalone titles, some even for adults, in the planning phase.

LQR: Do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Eric: I tend to read a little of everything, and my writing does tend to follow suit. My first love was horror, and the first story I ever had published was a spooky children’s tale. When I started reading a lot of science fiction, I wrote a few sci-fi stories. Some of them even won awards. When I moved on to reading fantasy, I wrote Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of P.I. books. So far I don’t have any stories of my own surfacing.

I recently watched the complete series of How I Met Your Mother over the course of about a month. I’m impressed by the writing on that show more than any other I can think of. Every detail, no matter how trivial it seems at the time it’s introduced, works its way back into the plot.

LQR: If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Eric: I can think of roughly a million things to do, and they’d all be somewhere around the Tropic of Cancer.

LQR: Anything else you’d like to add?

Eric: Just a plea from all authors: Please review our books, and if you liked it, tell your friends about it. I’m not as good at writing reviews as I should be, but I do try to make up for it by telling others about the books/authors I like. These are the two most helpful things you can do to promote a book or author you like.

LQR: Where can readers find you online?

Website/Blog authorericprice.com
Twitter: @AuthorEricPrice